If you believe the Daily Mail, the consensus is that frozen food is better than fresh food – and that includes frozen vegetables and fruit.
Using frozen ingredients in recipes isn’t always popular though, and I do often wonder how many of us actually use them.
Coming from a family who always ate from fresh, I found the transition to using frozen food a bit difficult. It had always been drummed into my head that fresh was the way to go, no matter what. We grow a lot of our own in summer, so it’s always the winter months where we are lacking in much of the fresh stuff.
Apparently a couple of studies have found that frozen fruit and veg could actually be healthier with the higher levels of vitamins preserved in them, especially the antioxidant leafy veg
The antioxidants fared best, which included Vitamin C, polyphenols, anthocyanins, lutein and beta-carotene.
Personally, I’m not 100% convinced they’re better for us, but I can understand how they would be just as good for us if they were picked and frozen quickly. I’ve seen the evidence, but I can’t get my head around how they could possibly be an improvement.
There’s always the benefit of not being in transit for days before they get to us, which can’t be bad though, and the frozen version will keep the freshness they seem to have.
I don’t like frozen fruit and veg when it’s thawed from the packet. That’s just me, so I rarely use them for just serving up the veg on its own, but I do use them for cooking in other food. The slightly limp results I seem to get on defrosting tends to put them off my list for just adding veg to the plate as a side dish to a main course.
I did find great ways to use fruit I froze myself, with the frozen dessert maker that Von Shef sent to me, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Strangely, the fruit I froze in my freezer did not have the wetter consistency that the shop bought kind seems to have.
I do buy a lot of frozen veg though. I love it for last-minute soups, for onions and for garlic and ginger. I’ve been using more and more frozen carrots too, as they just last so long. As much as I love fresh carrots, there are times when they’re wasted in the veg drawer and end up in the bin, which I find very wasteful. Unless I’m buying those for specific meal planning, I keep reserves in the freezer for days we fancy carrots or I’m putting a casserole on and fancy throwing some in without having to visit the local shop.
At the end of the day, unlike a lot of home cooks, I’m very pro the use of frozen veg in recipes. I’ll use fresh where I can, but frozen is not off my radar.
What about you?